Anything You Can Imagine | Meet Origami Artist White on Rice aka Ross Symons

Curiosity, creativity, patience, and impeccable skill come together in origami, the art of making magic with paper. One such wizard in this arena has to be Ross Symons, better known by his Insta-famous alter ego White on Rice. Symons first tried his hand at origami seven years ago and soon he was hooked, sharing his progress consistently with a growing community of fellow enthusiasts, artists and fans on Instagram. He shares of his art freely and generously, and always has something fun and mind-boggling up his sleeve. His feed is a delight to behold, making him a deserving winner of our Instagram Heroes “1000 Grams of Likes” award for January 2021 in the creator category. In light of this we caught up with Symons to hear about his initial forays into origami and what he loves about this imaginative art form.

What sparked your interest in the art of origami?

I like the fact that it’s limiting. You start with a single square sheet of paper and once you know the rules and techniques you’re able to create almost anything you can imagine.

Fast forward seven years and you’re now a full time origami artist. How has Instagram enabled this life of freedom and fun? 

I would not have been able to do this had it not been for Instagram. Instagram has allowed me to connect with a global audience and share my work with thousands of people. It’s also made me stay as consistent as possible with creating new content and coming up with new ideas.

Paper seems such a humble medium until we see what you’re able to achieve with it. What do you enjoy about working in this way?  

I love that all I need in order to make something is a sheet of paper and a camera. I carry paper with me all the time incase I get a cool idea and need to get it out as soon as possible. Paper is light and can be found anywhere so once you know how to manipulate it, the ideas just flow.

What does winning the “1000 Grams of Likes” award in the creator category mean to you? 

I’ve tried hard to not be about the “likes” and comments but what this helps me realise is that if you remain consistent with something you can surprise yourself. 

What inspires you to keep on going and developing your skills in origami?

I’ll be honest, there are times when I wanna burn all the paper I see. But when I feel like that, I give origami a break and do other stuff. I’m a web developer too so building websites and apps helps me keep my mind sharp in other areas (and bring in more money). When my inspiration battery is full then paper starts calling my name again. But origami mastery is a never ending pursuit so I just keep trying to get better.

What has been one of the most challenging folds you’ve done to date? 

Satoshi Kamiya’s Tree Frog was pretty damn difficult.

Do you have any advice for creatives wanting to grow their practice and build a community on IG?

Just do the work and try your best to get better at your craft. I found that doing a 365 day project or two was a great way to keep working regularly and up-skilling. The community will grow slowly and as it does, connect with others doing similar work to you. But most importantly… Share EVERYTHING you’ve learned with them. Creatives hate hearing that cos they think they own the ideas, but those ideas belong to the collective creative consciousness (I just made that up). You’ve stolen and borrowed ideas from others, so share the ideas with your community and it will grow. 

What can we expect from White on Rice in 2021? Any projects or collaborations to keep an eye out for? 

I do have a very exciting project that’s been in the pipeline for the past two years. I’m collaborating with a company that will help me bring my origami designs to life in a way that I don’t think has been done before. That’s all I can really say but follow my Instagram page and I will mention more about it when it starts coming to light. 

Follow @white_onrice on IG.

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